Monday, February 10, 2014

February is Black History Month

Last week we posted selections from our DVD collection to help celebrate Black History Month.  This week it's time for the books!



Nonfiction
The Souls of Black Folk by  W.E.B. Du Bois
"This set represents an invaluable assembly of the works of the pioneering African American scholar, activist, and creative genius W.E.B. Du Bois."













Oscar Micheaux, the Great and Only: The Life of America's First Black Filmmaker by Patrick McGilligan

"Oscar Micheaux was the Jackie Robinson of film, the black D. W. Griffith--a bigger-than-life American folk hero whose important life story has been nearly forgotten today. The son of freed slaves, he roamed America as a Pullman porter before making his first mark as a homesteader in South Dakota--and going on from there to become the king of the "race cinema" industry, producing and/or directing nearly forty films during a time of Jim Crow segregation when African-American artists were not welcome in Hollywood.
In this groundbreaking new biography, award-winning film historian Patrick McGilligan offers a vivid and fascinating portrait of a true pioneer of American culture who was equal parts visionary, hustler, huckster, innovator, and raffish Barnum-like showman--and the first great African-American filmmaker."

The Black West: A Documentary and Pictorial History of the African American Role in the Westward Expansion of the United States by  William Loren Katz
"This entirely new edition of a famous classic has glorious new photographs—many never before seen—as well as a revised and expanded text that deepens our understanding of the vital role played by African American men and women on our early frontiers.Inspired by a conversation that William Loren Katz had with Langston Hughes,The Black Westpresents long-neglected stories of daring pioneers such as Nat Love, a.k.a. Deadwood Dick, Mary Fields, a.k.a. Stagecoach Mary, Cranford Goldsby, a.k.a. Cherokee Bill—and a host of other intrepid men and women who marched into the wilderness alongside Chief Osceola, Billy the Kid, and Geronimo.Featuring captivating narratives and photographs (many from the author’s world-famous collection),The Black Westenriches and deepens our stirring frontier saga. From slave runaways during the colonial era, to the journeys of Lewis and Clark, to the charge at San Juan Hill, Katz vividly recounts the crucial contributions African Americans made during scores of frontier encounters. With its stirring pictures and vivid eyewitness accounts,The Black West is an exhilarating treasure trove." 


Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-hop Generation by Jeff Chang  "Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop became the Esperanto of youth rebellion and a generation-defining movement. In a post-civil rights era defined by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop crystallized a multiracial, polycultural generation's worldview, and transformed American politics and culture. But that epic story has never been told with this kind of breadth, insight, and style.Based on original interviews with DJs, b-boys, rappers, graffiti writers, activists, and gang members, with unforgettable portraits of many of hip-hop's forebears, founders, and mavericks, including DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck D, and Ice Cube, Can't Stop Won't Stop chronicles the events, the ideas, the music, and the art that marked the hip-hop generation's rise from the ashes of the 60's into the new millennium. Here is a powerful cultural and social history of the end of the American century, and a provocative look into the new world that the hip-hop generation created."

Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Raymond Arsenault
"Here is the definitive account of a dramatic and indeed pivotal moment in American history, a critical episode that transformed the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. Raymond Arsenault offers a meticulously researched and grippingly written account of the Freedom Rides, one of the most compelling chapters in the history of civil rights. Arsenault recounts how in 1961, emboldened by federal rulings that declared segregated transit unconstitutional, a group ofvolunteers--blacks and whites--traveled together from Washington DC through the Deep South, defying Jim Crow laws in buses and terminals, putting their bodies and their lives on the line for racial justice. The book paints a harrowing account of the outpouring of hatred and violence that greeted theFreedom Riders in Alabama and Mississippi. One bus was disabled by Ku Klux Klansmen, then firebombed. In Birmingham and Montgomery, mobs of white supremacists swarmed the bus stations and battered the riders with fists and clubs while local police refused to intervene. The mayhem in Montgomery wascaptured by news photographers, shocking the nation, and sparking a crisis in the Kennedy administration, which after some hesitation and much public outcry, came to the aid of the Freedom Riders. Arsenault brings the key actors in this historical drama vividly to life, with colorful portraits ofthe Kennedys, Jim Farmer, John Lewis, Diane Nash, Fred Shuttlesworth, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Their courage, their fears, and the agonizing choices made by all these individuals run through the story like an electric current. The saga of the Freedom Rides is an improbable, almost unbelievable story. In the course of six months, some four hundred and fifty Riders expanded the realm of the possible in American politics, redefining the limits of dissent and setting the stage in the years to come for the 1963 Birmingham demonstrations, Freedom Summer and the Selma-to-Montgomery March. With characters and plot lines rivaling those of the most imaginative fiction, this is a tale of heroic sacrifice and unexpected triumph."


Fiction
Their Eyes Were Watching God by  Zora Neale Hurston
"Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person -- no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots."








Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
"James Baldwin's stunning first novel is now an  American classic. With startling realism that brings  Harlem and the black experience vividly to life,  this is a work that touches the heart with emotion  while it stimulates the mind with its narrative  style, symbolism, and excoriating vision of racism  in America. Moving through time from the rural  South to the northern ghetto, starkly contrasting the  attitudes of two generations of an embattles  family, Go Tell It On The Mountain  is an unsurpassed portrayal of human beings caught  up in a dramatic struggle and of a society  confronting inevitable change."


The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
"The Bluest Eye,published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove--a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment."



 The Block: Poems by Langston Hughes                                                            "A collection of thirteen of Langston Hughes poems on African American themes."

 Native Son by Richard Wright                                                                    "Widely acclaimed as one of the finest books ever written on race and class divisions in America, this powerful novel reflects the forces of poverty, injustice, and hopelessness that continue to shape out society. "





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